REVIEW: ‘Harley Quinn,’ Issue #9

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Harley Quinn #9 - But Why Tho

Harley Quinn #9 is a comic published by DC Comics. Written by Stephanie Phillips, and the artist is Riley Rossmo. The colourist is Ivan Plascencia and the letters are by Andworld Design. This is part of the Fear State event.

Scarecrow and his allies are attacking Gotham. One of the keys to stopping Crane lies with Poison Ivy—whereabouts unknown. But Catwoman has been protecting the Ivy Key, part of Pamela aboveground. Selina, Harley, and The Gardener need this version of Harley’s girlfriend to find the real, more powerful deal.

In this issue, Harley and Ivy are trying to stay away from her newest enemy. Finding a new vehicle, our hero is in a car chase. But Keepsake isn’t very far behind. And on the other side of the city, Kenny enters the building. This is Hugo Strange’s lab, leading to some dark memories for Kenny. But it is also extremely dangerous, and he will stop at nothing to make sure everyone is safe.

The plot of the issue is another fast-paced and energetic one. In Harley’s side of the story, there is an intense chase scene that lasts for much of the issue. It is full of action and utterly chaotic, with neither the characters or the readers having a true sense of what is happening. And Kenny is in the middle of an energetic and daring rescue mission himself. There are thrills and battle galore. And yet, this is also a beautiful love story. In both plots, there are some absolutely stunning demonstrations of vulnerability from these characters. In each issue, there is a resounding theme that thrums through the narration and every fiber of the comic. In Harley Quinn #9, that theme is fear. Everyone is scared of something, and for our characters, they all come to the forefront. Fear and love battle each other here just as much as the actual heroes and villains.

The dialogue and characterisation continue to be incredible. Over the top of the action and the on-page drama, there is always this long monologue from the first page to the last. Sometimes it is easy to miss it due to just how much is happening around them, but they are so eloquent and beautiful. They are raw and honest explorations of Harley’s real intelligence. 

All of the main heroic characters in Harley Quinn are just so good. They aren’t perfect, by any means. Harley and Kenny are these high-octane figures, and everyone in this issue has done awful things in the past. But they are so inherently kind and protective of each other that the reader can’t help but root for them. And although this is the full form of Poison Ivy, some exquisitely lovely moments between the couple are sensational.

Rossmo’s art is unique and the book just wouldn’t be the same without it. There are some fantastic pieces of imagery that lean into the general silliness of the art. Kenny has a vision of an angel and a demon version of Harley, both of which are delightfully designed. The facial expressions of the characters are big and exaggerated, but perfect for describing just how the person is feeling. There is a cold open that shows us the first glimpse of a character under Rossmo’s style. It is haunting and unsettling.

The colours are awesome. There is much darkness within these pages, with black being used as a base colour. But when light is brought in, for example from bright orange fire, the light it creates is cast against the darkness. Plascencia implements an aura and a warmth from this effect. The conflict between the angel and devil Harley’s leads to some superb contrasts in shades.

The letters are very easy to read and follow. With a lot of dialogue in this issue and inventive panel placements, this is very important.

Harley Quinn #9 remains a delightful comic. The issue is cartoonish, filled with over-the-top action, drama and characters. The art style is fun and goofy and leaves the reader grinning. But within that cartoon is a book filled with depth and heavy emotions. Phillips succinctly portrays love that makes the heart sing and fear that can make it sink. This is a comic that is just as grown-up as it is childish.

Harley Quinn #9 is available where comics are sold.


Harley Quinn #9
4.5

TL;DR

Harley Quinn #9 remains a delightful comic. The issue is cartoonish, filled with over-the-top action, drama and characters. The art style is fun and goofy and leaves the reader grinning. But within that cartoon is a book filled with depth and heavy emotions. Phillips succinctly portrays love that makes the heart sing and fear that can make it sink. This is a comic that is just as grown-up as it is childish.